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Ministers & Departments - Revision

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Ministers & Departments The machinery of the British Government is divided into departments. The precise nature of these lie in the hands of the PM and are constantly evolving. The following are the main departments of state arranged by David Cameron and Nick Clegg * The Treasury * Foreign Office * Department Of Justice * Department For Women & Equality * Department For Business, Innovation & Skills * Department For Work & Pensions * Department For Energy & Climate Change * Department For Health * Department For Education * Department For Communities & Local Government * Department Of Transport * DEFRA * Department For International Development * Northern Ireland Office * Scottish Office * Welsh Office * Department For Culture, Media & Sport * Office Of The Attorney General * Department Of The Cabinet Office 1. Each department has two heads One is a minister, the other is a civil servant 2. ...read more.


forbidden - Civil servants are also expected to be anonymous and keep a low public profile - This involves not making public statements about policy or publicly revealing their role in policymaking - They are allowed to reveal what they work for and their rank but not the advice that they are giving - This presents a problem in democracy as they cannot be held accountable if they are anonymous - This is addressed with ministerial responsibility, whereby the minister is answerable to Parliament Summary Of The Status Of A Minister * Are politically committed to one party * Are temporary and hold office as long as PM wishes for them to * Are expected to make political decisions * Have to use judgements about the outcome of their decisions * Have a high public profile * Are publicly accountable for the actions of their department * Will lose office if their party loses power Summary Of The Status Of A Civil Servant * Must display no political allegiance * Are permanent ...read more.


that their position is being undermined by political advisers - A mini rivalry has developed between civil servants and advisers as to who can gain the minister's ear - Also, sometimes there can be blurring between the roles of the two - It is ultimately up to the minister to distinguish between political and neutral advice Open Government - This refers to the idea of allowing the public and media more access into the decision making process - Relationships between individuals in departments remain shrouded in mystery despite the Freedom of Information Act going some way to assuage this - The requirement for civil servants to be neutral and anonymous has led to a lot of secrecy in government although successive governments since the 1970s have pledged to be more open - It has become part of the civil servant culture to be secretive which has made it difficult for members of Parliament to obtain relevant information from government - The concept of 'open government' remains more an aspiration than a reality ...read more.

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